Annatto Vegetable Color
Annatto are native to South America, and are currently mostly in use as a flavouring and food colouring in Central and Northern South America. In the Caribbean, the seeds are usually fried in (animal or vegetable) fat; after discarding the seeds, the then golden-yellow fat is used to fry vegetables or meat. By this procedure, a golden yellow to golden brown colour is achieved. Mexican cooks often use a paste (achiote) of annatto seeds with some preservatices (acetic acid) that dissolves completely in hot fat; it is easy to use and can also be added to marinades and sauces to improve the colour. Similar use is found in South America, namely, PerÃº and Bolivia.